St Mary's Church of England School
Nurturing Creative Thinkers

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St Mary's CE Primary School,
Kendal Road,Kirkby Lonsdale,
Cumbria LA6 2DN

Learning to read

Dear Parents,

We would normally have a meeting to talk about teaching your children to read and what we do in school. With the current restrictions, we can’t hold this meeting, this year, but we will post a series of videos which will, hopefully, explain what we are doing in class and where we are heading.

Take a look at my video on Tapestry!

Learning to read is the most important activity that the children will do in school: from this, everything else will follow.
We will start our reading adventure by teaching the children the sound of each letter. We call this Phonics. if you want to know more about Phonics, click on this short film:–1/understanding-phonics-video 

I have to be very careful with the pronunciation of the sounds as I have a Lancashire accent which tends to put an ‘u’ after everything eg ‘tu’ instead of ‘t.’ Have a look at this short video for the correct version of the sounds:–1/phonics-pure-sounds-video 

Mrs Chalmers and I are teaching the children a new sound everyday.  We keep each lesson pacey, fun and positive so the children learn quickly.

I would like to reinforce this teaching with a little homework. Each child will bring home a book which contains the sounds taught and a little phrase to help with the writing of that sound. If you could use this to reinforce the sounds, your child will find learning to read much easier.

After learning these sounds, the children will start to blend some together to make simple words eg c-a-t or d-i-g. You can help this process by asking your child what words begin with eg ‘Ooooh! Look at your puppy! What does puppy begin with?’

If your child can hear these sounds they are ready for reading books with words in them. They have the skills to read and work out words that they don’t recognise. Of course some words are very tricky and can’t be broken down into their sounds eg ‘the,’ ‘me’ or ‘no.’ We call these words ‘red’ or ‘tricky’ words and they just need to be learnt.

Have a look at this video from a Phonics expert: 

I hope this has given you an overview of what we are doing in school. Please get in touch if you need any help or have any queries.

Best wishes,

Andrea Day